After the recent spell of hot weather, we have heard terrible stories of dogs succumbing to heat stroke. In some cases, the dogs had not even been for their daily walks but struggled to cope with the heat. Although the temperature seems to have dropped, for now, we hear there may be another heatwave on the way. In light of this, we thought we would share some of our top tips for preventing heat stroke in dogs.
Understanding How Dogs Cool Down
First it is important to realise that, unlike humans, dogs can’t sweat through their skin. Instead they pant and release heat through the nose and paw pads. This is how they regulate their temperature. Add to this that they are sporting a thick winter coat and it’s not surprising that dogs can suffer with heatstroke so readily. Unlike us, they can’t just jump in a cold shower, open the windows or moan about how hot they are. Instead they rely on us to look after them.
So, how can we protect our dogs and make sure they don’t succumb to the perils of the hot weather and what are our top tips for preventing heat stroke in dogs?
Tips for Preventing Heat Stroke in Dogs
Don’t Leave a Dog in a Hot Car - EVER
Do not leave your dog in a hot car. Even on cloudy days, the temperature inside a car can rise to unsafe levels. If its 22 degrees outside, the temperature in a car can easily reach 47. If you are going out in the car and you are going to stop at a shop for example, then don’t take the dog!
Walk Them When it’s Cool
Don’t walk them when it’s too hot. How hot is too hot? Well, that really does depend on the breed. As a guide we have created the following:
If it’s over 20 degrees, we would suggest not walking the dog unless you can walk them in a wooded area for example. Also make sure that you have water to hand for during and after your walk.
Make Sure They Have a Cool Place to Lie
Make sure they have somewhere cool to lie. This can be a hard tiled kitchen floor or a cool mat. Our self-cooling mat uses ClimaCOOL technology so you don’t need to freeze it – handy to take with you on trips out.
Keep an Eye on Them
Watch for the signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, drooling and foaming at the mouth, bright red gums, shaking, weakness and collapse, confusion, vomiting and diarrhoea (sometimes containing blood) and seizures.
Don’t go out and leave them all day in a hot room and if you are going out, make sure that you leave them in a shaded cool room with access to water. If you have to go to work, perhaps ask someone to check on them.
Supply Clean Fresh Water
Make sure your dog always has access to clean fresh water. Do not leave the bowl in direct sunlight - put it in a shaded area. If you don’t the water will just become hot. If you are going out on walks make sure you take a bottle of water and a bowl with you.
Wet Them Down
You can wet a towel and put it over their head and ears to help cool them down, you can hose them down, if they will let you and you can put out a paddling pool for them to splash around in. You can also use a self-cooling jacket to keep them cool during the hotter parts of the day and put down a cooling mat for them to lie on.
Do Not Let Them Get Over Excited
If you have a lively dog that likes to jump around and get excited, try and keep any activity which excites them to a minimum. No rough and tumble, keep them in a different room to visitors and make sure it is a cool room.
We know that all of this seems rather a lot to take in but it is important to know the steps to preventing heat strokes in dogs so that you and your fur friend can enjoy the summer safely. To check out our range of cooling products, simply visit our website.